Chester History and Heritage

Chester History & Heritage Centre - St Michael's Church

Chester History & Heritage is a local & family history resource centre sited in the heart of Chester. We offer free internet access via the popular People's Network and operate a family history advice service provided by research group experts - again - free to all customers. Our main collection comprises photographs of Chester district - those on our imagebank can be accessioned online but we also have thousands of images of Chester from the past 50 years which can be used by local residents and visitors.

We have a rolling programme of exhibitions and events, produce a thrice yearly newsletter, hold microfiche and microfilm sources for Chester including newspapers, electoral rolls and parish registers, and offer various film showings of Chester's past.

Venue Type:

Archive, Heritage site

Opening hours

Monday-Friday 10 - 12 & 1-4.00pm
Closed 24 Dec - 3rd Jan inclusive

Admission charges

Free

Additional info

Access: Due to the historic nature of St Michael's church there is, unfortunately, no access for wheelchair users. However, if notified in advance it will be possible to make other arrangements to see material that we hold. If you cannot visit us in person, we will be pleased to carry out research on your behalf through the Postal Enquiry Service.

We have a variety of family and local history sources to help you in your search:

* General Register Office Index for England and Wales, 1837-1949 (The Civil Registration Index of Births, Deaths and * Marriages on microfiche) - £1 per hour charge
* Census for Chester District, 1841 1901 (on microfiche and microfilm)
* 1881 census for UK (on CD Rom)
* Also on CD Rom: Ormerod, 1851 census for Cheshire, Holy Trinity Church Chester Parish Registers, Betram Merrall Marriage Index and the National Burial Index
* Electoral Registers for Chester (on microfiche)
* International Genealogical Index for Cheshire and surrounding counties (on microfiche)
* Parish Registers for Chester City parishes (on microfilm)
* Local newspapers (cuttings, full papers on microfilm)
* Map collection
* Local Studies Library
* Chester Archaeological Society Library
* Chester Image Bank
* Chester Photographic Survey here - street by street documentation of Chester District from 1960s onwards

Let us help you find out more about Chester, or about your family's past click on one of the menu options, or email us with your own particular query.

Collection details

Archives, Social History, Photography

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Blacon

Spotlight on Blacon

  • 30 March — 26 June 2015 *on now

Described in the Domesday Book as having four ploughs and a fishery Blacon is now a large scale township with a renowned community spirit. This foyer display looks at Blacon through the years

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

free

cheshire pubs

Cheers! The Pubs, Inns and Taverns of Chester

  • 30 March — 26 June 2015 *on now

At one time there were said to be 365 hostelries in Chester - this number has significantly reduced now but this exhibition celebrates their heyday!

railway streets

Homeward Bound: The Railway Streets

  • 1 July — 18 December 2015

The coming of the railway meant many railway workers lived in close knit communities in Hoole, Newtown & Saltney. This display looks at the people who lived there

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

free exhibition

strangers guide

A Strangers Guide: The 19th Century Tourist

  • 1 July — 18 December 2015

Chester through the eyes of 19th century visitors who flocked here with the coming of the railway. Using early photos advertisements, local guidebooks & memories, we can see what these visitors would have done & where they might have stayed.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

free exhibition

All aboard

All Aboard!

  • 1 July — 18 December 2015

This year Chester celebrates 175 years since the Crewe to Chester and Chester to Birkenhead lines opened, paving the way for Chester's success as the gateway to holiday resorts of North Wales & the industries & larger cities further afield. This exhibition looks at engines, rolling stock, railway workers & travelling passengers who made Chester such an important railway junction and destination.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

free temporary exhibition

trainline

This Train don't stop here anymore: The Lost Stations

  • 1 July — 18 December 2015

After the rapid growth in the 19th century, an expanding road network and car ownership led to closure of many branch lines. This with the Beeching Report heralded the end for many local stations which feature in this small display.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

free of charge

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
babycham

Babychams and Bitter Beers

  • 19 June 2015 1:30-3:30pm

A slideshow with Len Morgan revisiting and reminiscing about the old pubs of Chester. Len will take us back in time to when the pub was a place to share good times and bad, with the snug, taproom and sawdust covered floors - and not a fruit machine in sight! Booking essential on 01244 972210 PLEASE NOTE THIS TALK TAKES PLACE ON TWO OCCASIONS

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£3 book through Chester History & Heritage on 01244 972210

tram

Chester Life in the Months leading up to August 1914

  • 6 May 2015 1:30-3pm

A guided walk by Gerry Tighe, showing what life was like for people in Chester in early 1914 - where they shopped and worked what they did at school and how they entertained themselves. £5 booking essential at Chester History & Heritage 01244 972210

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+
  • 14-15

Admission

£5 booking essential at Chester History & Heritage on 01244 972210. Meet at History & Heritage

grave

Till Death Do Us Part

  • 15 May 2015 1:30-3:30pm

Join the inimitable Len Morgan as he guides us round this beautiful & evocative cemetery with its remarkable Victorian monuments including that of Architect John Douglas, Mary Jonas the mother of 33 children and the sad grave of the little Chewing Gum girl. £3 each - Booking essential on 01244 972210 - the walk meets at the Overleigh Road entrance) opposite the stonemasons.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 14-15
  • 18+

Admission

£3 book on 01244 972210

buttons

Button Bouquet Workshop

  • 11 July 2015 1-3pm

Join this workshop to learn how to make bouquets out of buttons the permanent alternative to flowers. All materials provided

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£10 book at Chester History and Heritage on 01244 972210

brief encounter

Brief Encounter

  • 15 July — 12 August 2015

Noel Coward's famous film starring Trevor Howard & Celia Johnson tells the story of two people thrown together by a chance meeting

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free but booking essential - please note there are showings on Wed 15 July and also on wed 12 August. Please ring Chester History & Heritage on 01244 972210

the railways

Our Railway - Life Death and Rebirth: Guided Walk

  • 19 August 2015 1:30-3:30pm

To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Chester to Crewe & Chester to Birkenhead lines expert local guide Gerry Tighe takes a walk looking back at those early days

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£5 book at Chester History & Heritage 01244 972210

ghost train

The Ghost Train

  • 16 September — 14 October 2015

Arthur Askey & Richard Murdoch star in this spooky comedy film from 1941. The hapless heroes face the terrors of a haunted station and the eerie whistle of the approaching ghost train.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

This film is screened at Chester History & Heritage on Wednesday 16 September and also on Wed 14 October from 2-3.30pm. Entrance is free but booking is essential. Please ring 01244 972210

ghost walk

A Ghost Walk

  • 7 October 2015 6-8pm

Join local historian John Whittingham for this ghoulish stroll around the haunted site of the old City Hospital before walking along the canal to the city centre where ghosts abound

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£3 book at CHH 01244 972210

Chester History and Heritage
St Michael's Church
Bridge Street Row
Chester
Cheshire
CH1 1NW
England

Website

Website

www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/visiting

E-mail

Elaine.Pierce-Jones@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Telephone

Main number for Chester History & Heritage

01244 972210

Heritage Officer

01244 922207

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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